3 Questions with Bob Evans: Utah Senator Mark Madsen on medical marijuana

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SALT LAKE CITY – In this week’s edition of 3 Questions with Bob Evans, Utah Senator Mark Madsen talks about the debate over medical marijuana in Utah and his personal experience using it to treat ailments traditionally managed with opioid-based medications.

Madsen also shared what he would tell LDS Church leaders about medical marijuana given the chance, as the influential religion has publicly spoken against a bill on medical marijuana sponsored by Madsen.

The three questions are listed below, see the video above for Madsen's in-depth response to each.

1- Are recreational marijuana users licking their chops as Utah debates medical marijuana?
2- What form of medical marijuana do you use, and do you get high when you use it?
3- If you had the chance to sit down and talk with the leaders of the LDS Church, what would you tell them about medical marijuana?


  • Ivan

    There is already medical cocaine, meth, and heroin. If doctors agree that it can help then why oppose medical marijuana?

    • bob

      There are no medical meth or heroin, and cocaine is only used as a local anesthetic for eye surgeries.

      Amphetamines used to be prescribed as “pep pills”, but not METH-amphetamines. And good luck getting a prescription for “pep pills” today. It never happens anymore.

      Opium derivatives, and synthetic opioids, are frequently prescribed for pain. Heroin is NEVER prescribed. It can’t be. It’s illegal in all cases.

      I have no problem with “medical marijuana” as long as it’s subject to exactly the same FDA approval process as any other drug. I’ve yet to have a pot head answer this simple question: Why should YOUR drug of choice get a free pass?

      • sethshoultes

        Get your facts straight, Bob.

        The Adderall that’s so widely prescribed to our kids is the same chemical makeup as methamphetamine.

        Oxycotin, Lortab, etc are all synthetic heroin.

        I can get any of these from my family Dr if I want (I really can here in Utah, very easily), yet marijuana is illegal and unavailable.

        Now tell me why it should remain illegal and I should not have access to it? Instead I should risk my health using poison that’s readily available from a family physician, because it’s legal?

      • Bhillstead

        I see this reference to FDA approval all the time, people only say it because they know it won’t happen. Why do people put this great trust in the FDA anyway? Watch tv for ten minutes, any channel, and you will see at least one ad for a class action suit against some FDA approved drug that has caused serious harm or death to enough people that a law firm can afford to make a tv commercial about it and still get rich from the settlement. A settlement that was already expected by the pharmaceutical company that made the drug, they built the settlement expense into their pricing structure long before they released the drug because they already knew how many people would be adversely affected. The FDA approves dangerous drugs all the time. They also approve drugs that treat conditions that already have another prescription drug on the market that works more safely, and effectively, but the patent ran out on it and it’s no longer as profitable, so the FDA will approve a less effective, more dangerous, yet more profitable drug to take it’s place. Because the FDA cares about people’s health and safety, not the pharmaceutical companies and their profits, right?

      • Storm Crow

        Why should my drug of choice get a free pass? For a start it has a lower rate of overdose mortality than aspirin, and it works far faster to ease pain. And do over 4,000 years of written medical history account for nothing? Your FDA pharmaceuticals are the relatively untested drugs with only a few years of trials before they are released on the public!

        And what do you say to the parents of these children? “Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy” (PubMed – 2013) from the abstract – “Sixteen (84%) of the 19 parents reported a reduction in their child’s seizure frequency while taking cannabidiol-enriched cannabis. Of these, two (11%) reported complete seizure freedom, eight (42%) reported a greater than 80% reduction in seizure frequency, and six (32%) reported a 25–60% seizure reduction. Other beneficial effects included increased alertness, better mood, and improved sleep.”

        Should these children continue to take ineffective medications for their treatment-resistant epilepsy when a simple herbal extract works so well?

        And then there is all this! “Marijuana’s Active Ingredient Shown to Inhibit Primary Marker of Alzheimer’s Disease” (Scrippsedu), “Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows” (ScienceDaily),“Lab Notes: Pot Has Benefits for Diabetic Hearts” (MedPageToday), “14 of 15 MS patients show clinical improvement with cannabis consumption” (Examiner), “Marijuana Slims? Why Pot Smokers Are Less Obese” (TIME), “Cannabis for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease treatment” (NewsMedicalNet), How MEDlCAL MARlJUANA’s Chemicals May Protect Cells” (Scientific American), “Cannabis to lower blood pressure! (NewsMedicalNet), and “Marijuana use associated with lower death rates in patients with traumatic brain injuries” (eurekalert).

      • Matthafew

        Actually Bob you are incorrect. There is prescription methamphetamine. Matter of fact I am prescribed it. It is prescribed under the brand name desoxyn. It is also prescribed for ADHD like adderall or dexedrine but contrary to most beliefs the infamous methamphetamine is superior in treating ADHD with far less side effects. If it wasn’t for the horribly bad rap it got (from a huge surge of dealers selling a easy yet horribly synthesized excuse for methamp to abusers) it would likely be the first choice by most doctors for ADHD medication. Don’t believe me? Well do some research!

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  • De Mof

    Its like the church regards it as a poison that will ruin everyone? Do they oppose chemo for cancer because it is a poison?

  • Paul L

    I am a conservative LDS father to 6 children. I have never used illegal drugs, or even had a drink of alcohol. I do my best to follow my faith and support my church leadership.
    I am also the father to a fully handicapped daughter who started having seizures before the age of 2. That was 20 years ago. We have spent 2 decades going through every option the medical industry has offered, from many prescription medications, to endless tests, to diets. We have found no lasting success to stop, or even significantly control our daughters seizures….until now.
    What would you do as a parent to stop your child’s suffering? Give her/him a small dose(doesn’t get you high) of a completely natural substance that is potentially lifesaving and definitely improving of quality of life?
    I chose YES!
    For those who think you are solving anything by trying to control medical marijuana, you are not. Those who want to use it already are. You are only withholding the potential relief for many people who are suffering.
    I am NOT advocating opening the doors to recreational marijuana use, because the fact is its already here for those who choose to use recreationally. I AM advocating a legal option for those who are now suffering with different physical ailments that struggle to find relief.

  • chris

    Medical Marijuana is not a panacea some would claim, nor is it the evil destroyer of lives others people claim.

    From the perspective of liberty and freedom, I think there should be a pretty compelling reason to make a plant illegal, even if it gets you intoxicated. Now if that same individual hurts someone while intoxicated, just like driving drunk, they should have the book thrown at them. Prohibition does not have the desired effects on stopping use, and the black market effects are more undesirable than the problem caused by drugs in the first place. Add to that the cost of incarceration and law enforcement and you have a very expensive and freedom restricting policy that doesn’t achieve its stated goal….

    Regarding medical efficacy, I would like to add something that is frequently left out of these discussions. Marijuana can be very beneficial for Veterans suffering from PTSD. Some of the effects of PTSD are lack of sleep, anxiety, stress, night terrors, and flashbacks. I would claim that marijuana helps with many of these symptoms. Is getting high going to cure a Veteran with PTSD? Most likely not. But in combination with other traditional treatments, like counseling, community engagement, wilderness therapy, family support etc., marijuana can be a great medicine to help the Veteran sleep better, reduce stress and anxiety, and prevent the remembering of most dreams.

    I am a Marine Corps Veteran and I served from 2001-2006, and completed 2 middle east deployments. I believe that using medical marijuana in consultation with my VA doctor in San Diego helped me out a lot. I think the option should be there for others here in freedom loving Utah as well, and not causing families and Veterans to have to leave the state to get the medical help they need.

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